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Brexit may mean more fruit, veg imports from Africa

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Tuesday, 09 August 2016

Brexit may mean more fruit, veg imports from Africa

A survey of retailers in the UK reveals that on the back of the UK's vote to leave the EU, they are considering sourcing fruit, vegetables and other produce from Africa, reports The Guardian. The EU is currently the main source of food imports to the UK, with EU member states making up nine out of 10 of the biggest importers. But about one-third of UK retailers now say they are considering sourcing from a different country and 38% expect to see more produce sourced from Africa. Potential changes to EU tariffs, the falling value of sterling, and attempts to reduce costs by sourcing outside Europe were listed as factors behind any change, in the survey published by Barclays this week. The UK has become increasingly reliant on imports of fruit and vegetables over the past two decades, with a self-sufficiency rate of just 58% in vegetables and 11% in fruit. This has been driven in part by large increases in imports of non-native foods to the UK, such as pineapples, melons and avocados. Even before the UK’s vote to leave the EU, this deficit and consumer trends had opened up opportunities for African exports. South Africa is the second biggest source of fresh fruit to the UK after Spain, and citrus growers there have expressed hope that the UK decision to exit the EU could see an end to tariffs on imports.

Source: freshplaza.com